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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.

Carrots

Carrots are an easily grown root crop that is rich in vitamin A. The long tap root makes carrots impractical to transplant, so seeds are sown directly where the crop is to be grown. Carrot seed can be slow to germinate. Soaking the seed overnight in water will speed up the process somewhat. When wet, the seed tends to clump together. Mixing the wet seed with dry sand will help to space the seed more evenly. Seed can be planted either in closely spaced rows or broadcast evenly over a wide row.

Even when soaked, carrot seed is slower to germinate than most other seeds. It is important to keep the seed bed moist until the seeds can sprout. Some people cover the soil with burlap or newspaper for the first week and a half to help keep the seeds damp. Any covering must be removed when the seedlings start to develop. This may mean that weeds will sprout and gain a foothold before the carrots can put up foliage to shade them out, so it is important to keep the young plants weeded.

Carrots grow best in loose sandy soil. Soil containing rocks or other obstructions may cause the roots to be forked or oddly shaped. If you are growing carrots in dense clay soil, it is best to choose short thick carrot varieties rather than long thin varieties.

Carrot rust fly and wireworms are both insect pests that will occasionally burrow through carrots, leaving brown trails and causing sections to rot. The best way to avoid these pests is to rotate the crop, and avoid planting carrots (or parsley, which is related) in the same place from year to year. Floating row covers can be used to eliminate carrot rust flies if crop rotation alone does not cure the problem.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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